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The History of Middle-earth (chibi version) - Part 231 - A refusal often offends

27th July 2015 (17:42)

Not that it justifies Fëanor's reaction, but I do think that the Teleri are being unreasonable here. The fact that Tolkien's text compares their possessiveness about their ships to Fëanor's possessiveness about the Silmarils ('the gems of the Noldor') can't be a good thing.

If you remember, it was Ossë and Uinen who taught the Teleri how to make ships (and to make them look like swans).

Part 231: A refusal often offends

Next time: Part 232: Climb Mount Niitaka

Chibis by the now-dead website formerly known as tektek.org
Original story by and copyright to J R R Tolkien, ed. C Tolkien: Primarily based on the Silmarillion, but incorporating ideas from the 12-volume History of Middle Earth series.
Questions and comments welcome!


Posted by: StephenT (stormwreath)
Posted at: 28th July 2015 14:20 (UTC)
Re: I think it's also an ideology thing

I think there's something of that in there, yes. Though bear in mind that the Valar haven't actually forbidden the Noldor to leave; they've just said, "We think it's a bad idea and advise you not to go".

Fëanor, on the other hand, certainly thinks of himself as rebelling against the Valar. He expects any moment that they'll intervene to try and stop him going.

I'm reminded of the way small children in a temper will announce that they're leaving home this minute, pack a bag (including important essentials such as their teddy bear), and stomp out the front door and down the street. Their parents don't actually forbid them to leave since that would be counter-productive; they just keep a discreet eye on them from a distance and wait for their temper to cool and for them to turn around and come back again. I think that's what the Valar were expecting to happen here.

Posted by: curiouswombat (curiouswombat)
Posted at: 28th July 2015 14:59 (UTC)
Re: I think it's also an ideology thing
Oh Dear

You know, I think that is right in both directions - he probably didn't expect them to call his bluff, but expected the Valar to come over all heavy handed and physically prevent them leaving, and then everyone would feel sorry for him being prevented from going when he wanted to.

Whilst the Valar probably thought he would only get to the end of the path, clutching his bag with his teddy and a couple of bits of lembas, before realising it might not be such a good idea after all!

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